Saturday, January 29, 2011

Review: MAC eyeshadows

So, my MAC virginity was finally broken last year. After buying 4 pigment samples and a single eyeshadow, I asked for a MAC giftcard for Christmas, and got a substantial one from my lovely hubby. Now altogether I have 8 single pan eyeshadow, 4 pig samples, and one MAC blush. But for this post I'm just concentrating on the eyeshadows. Let's check out the swatches and then I'll talk about my feelings on them.

Click to enlarge pics!
From left to right, top to bottom: Orb, Shroom, Vapour, Copperplate, Deep Truth, Parfait Amour, Patina, Steamy.

I love all the colors I have. They are all decently pigmented, smooth, and easy to apply and blend. Shroom and Vapour are amazing highlight colors. Orb makes a nice all over lid color when you put something darker in the crease, and it could probably be used as a highlight too. Copperplate has no equal to me, it's simply amazing. If you're only going to buy one MAC shadow, I say let Copperplate be the one. It's such a chameleon. Sometimes it appears slate grey, sometimes dark brown, sometimes taupe-ish. I don't even want to consider doing a smokey eye without using Copperplate in some fashion anymore. It's perfection.

Deep Truth is a pretty standard shimmery deep blue. It's not particularly original, I have a couple colors in my WnW palettes that look just like it. Parfait Amour is a lovely purple with a slight blue iridescence. It was a bit of a disappointment to me because it's not particularly vivid, you have to build up the color to make it apparent. Same thing with Steamy, which is a pretty greenish teal with slight gold shimmer. Patina makes a great lid color; it's another one of those that's difficult to describe. It's a lighter brownish gold, almost taupey.

My overall favorites are Copperplate, Patina, and Shroom.

While I do love these shadows, I have to be honest. I don't know why they are so hyped by the makeup community, and why they cost so much. I can get similar if not better quality from NYX at a much cheaper price. My SMH shadows seem very similar and cost less as well. The only thing I can think of that the MAC shadows have that the NYX shadows don't is quality in pressing. You know how NYX shadows tend to be very soft and kick up a lot of excess powder when you put a brush on them? MAC shadows are so finely milled and pressed that they don't do that, which leads to much less fallout. But that's the only area where MAC beats NYX for me. And really, that's not something I care about enough to shill out $11.00 a pan for.

I do think MAC does neutrals very well. If you're wanting to build a decent neutrals collection which you can reach for every day and not have to think too much about, and you can afford it, MAC might be the way to go. NYX does have very nice neutrals as well, though. I wouldn't rely on MAC for bright colorful shades, though. I'd turn to Sugarpill or NYX or indie mineral makeup companies.

I don't know that I'll be buying any more MAC shadows. It'd have to be a really amazing color. I never comment, but I do read all of Temptalia's MAC shadow reviews, and the word she uses more often than not in regards to MAC's new collections is 'underwhelming.' I, too, am underwhelmed. The last collection she got excited about was the Peacocky collection, and that was one bright spot in a pretty long line of duds. I wonder if anyone at MAC even reads her reviews? I'm pretty disgusted that they continue to release new collections every month with a dozen re-promotes and chalky eyeshadows with crappy pigmentation. I wonder if all they care about is making money.

MAC is supposed to be the standard, what everyone compares everything else to, the brand that the most people are completely devoted to. I have to wonder...why???

Sorry if that was a bit wordy on my part, but I have strong feelings about this. I hope you will all share your feelings about MAC with me, whether you agree or not. I'm interested to hear them.

Have good night ladies!


  1. I agree with you 100%. I have about a dozen MAC eyeshadows, and I do like the ones I have quite a lot, but I think they're so over-rated generally. I like my NYX ones much better, and use them a lot more often. I like Urban Decay better as well (the non-glittery ones, anyway).

    The price of these in Australia is ridiculous - they're about $33AUD each. I have never bought MAC at a counter here and I never will - the few items I own have all been bought online.

    And I HATE this stupid thing they have of bringing out a new collection every five minutes, not least because you then see 50 blog posts with the press release photos, then the haul post, then the swatches, and then the next lot are out and it goes around again. It's boring - I wish they'd just stop churning them out.

  2. I was at my local MAC yesterday and I did feel a but meh about everything, I walked away empty handed and felt cheerful enough :)

  3. Ah, nice to see someone who agrees that MAC eyeshadows are overrated. I don't mind them I guess, but they are nothing special for the price. I DO like their mineralize ones, and I suppose their colour range is great, but they are boring and I don't even like how they apply that much. Also, I agree with Dee above....they put out way too many collections. I liked a lot of their past collections, but they seem really BORING lately. Anyway, I'm rambling now, thanks for the honest review!

  4. I'm new to MAC and so far I've noticed that the things that I like from them, I really like but other things I'm kind of "meh" about. I love their lipsticks, pigments, fluidlines, and studio fix powder. I don't like their eyeshadows, liquid or cream foundations or mascaras.I can't decide if I like Lipglass or not because it's so sticky but it does last, which is nice!
    Honestly, for eyeshadow I'd rather buy indie or other brands you can find at Sephora, such as Urban Decay.


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